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Missoula City Councilor Explains “Healthy Relationships Coordinator” Position [AUDIO]

Missoula City Council
photo courtesy of the City of Missoula

Missoula City Councilor Jon Wilkins said Thursday that Missoula has several agencies and groups all working to address the problems of sexual assault and family violence, and “there should be someone to help coordinate all the other agencies, and get them on the same track.”

This is where the idea of a “healthy relationships coordinator” comes in. The concept is not new. Wilkins said fellow councilor Kaitlin Kopple received $7,000 from the city for a similar program in 2012.

“I think its about time we Missoulians step up to the plate and help out with this effort because 60% of the clientele are in the city of Missoula,” Wilkins said.

Wilkins said the nationwide publicity surrounding sexual assaults, the investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, Civil Rights Division, and the Department of Education “put pressure on the community and with that pressure has come awareness.”

“Some communities have swept the problem under the rug,” Wilkins said, “and its time that we need to buckle down and bring this to our community, because there’s a problem here.”

The right person for the position of healthy relationships coordinator, Wilkins said, “is somebody that can coordinate all these groups together, so then can all be working toward the same goal.”

He said the $54,000 per year spent on the position would eventually save money for the city, “compared to what has already been spent on the issue.”

The next time the subject will be discussed will be at a budget meeting on April 10.

Missoula City Councilor Jon Wilkins

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